(Mt.13:53-58; Mk.6:1-6; Lk.4:14-30)
The people you grow up with know a lot about you. Your habits good and bad are on display long enough for them to form solid personal opinions of you—true or otherwise.If you return to these good folks after a period of absence, you are bound to hear yourself quoting these words of Jesus: “A prophet is not without respect except in his own hometown.”Jesus went home to Nazareth on the Sabbath. In the synagogue they handed him a scroll and he read from Isaiah 61:1-2. “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO BRING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR.HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO CAPTIVES,AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,TO PROCLAIM THE FAVOURABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”The text was about himself and the congregation felt it. Jesus told them plainly that he was the ‘Suffering Servant’ that Isaiah spoke about.Jesus spoke their hearts back to them. They were content with Jesus-turned-miracle-worker, but not with a Jesus-turned-prophet. Jesus informed them of their blind parochialism. That God’s influence had long since extended beyond the borders of Israel. His reminder of the faith of the Sidonian widow and Naaman the Syrian drove them to murderous extremes.They literally tried to run Jesus off a cliff at the edge of town. When watching irrational behaviour that is motivated by people’s core beliefs being challenged, you are seeing the worst of them come out. Jesus went home to bring light to darkness – no matter the personal cost to himself. He exposed his hometown’s homespun ideas of who he was for what they were—there’s, not God’s. They had to accept that Jesus of Nazareth is actually Jesus the Christ.